CIVIC EXCHANGE ANNOUNCES HONG KONG-SPECIFIC WELLBEING SURVEY RESULTS
Young adults, those with vocational, technical and associates’ level education dissatisfied with Hong Kong and their own lives
HONG KONG, 31 October 2016 – Independent public policy think tank Civic Exchange (CEx) today released the results of its public opinion survey on wellbeing and general life satisfaction attitudes in Hong Kong. This study is a follow on to the Asian Urban Wellbeing Indicator survey released in June, which gave a comparative overview of three cities: Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. The recent survey focuses specifically on Hong Kong and reveals in-depth perceptions about quality of life in the territory. Methodology for the Hong Kong-specific survey asked respondents to choose specific “domains” or sub-sections in such areas as housing, education, government and medical care, among others, in addition to responding to core and demographic questions. Both the general study and the subsequent country-specific reports aim to identify issues and policy gaps that will engage the government and other stakeholders to shape public policy. Highlights of the Hong Kong wellbeing report include:
1. Young people aged 18-29 are dissatisfied both with life in Hong Kong and with their personal lives. Out of all the age groups, they are the most worried about poverty in Hong Kong (84% vs. an average of 68%), and are the most likely to want to leave Hong Kong (60% vs. 42% on average). They are more worried about providing for their families than other age groups (60% vs. 48% average). Among the sub-sample who answered the section on medical care, young people aged 18-29 had the highest level of self-reported mental stress, with 53% reporting high or very high mental stress, compared to 26% on average.
2. Respondents with associates’ degrees or vocational and technical education were very dissatisfied in terms of education. For example, they were the most likely to want to leave HK (53% vs. 42% average). 54% were as worried about providing for their families, which is no better than the figure for secondary school-educated respondents (53%), which shows that their additional education has not made them feel more economically secure. Among those answering the medical care sub-section, those with associate’s/vocational/technical education reported the worst health, with 35% saying they had “poor” or “very poor” health vs. 10% on average.
3. Out of ten domains, a full one-third of respondents chose housing as the domain the government should put first. Among these respondents, a clear majority (54%) said that property prices are most important housing issue for the government to address, followed by 24% saying the government should build more public housing.
4. Among respondents who selected education (16% of the total sample), over 60% said that Hong Kong’s education system performs “not so well” or “not well at all” in preparing children to get a good job, or in preparing them for life. Over half said the education system not doing well in preparing children to take exams.
5. The group of respondents who selected quality of government (16% of the total sample) is very politically engaged. Almost half of them signed a petition in the past year, and nearly one quarter had contacted a government official or politician over some issue in the past year. However, less than one quarter of them thought that Hong Kong residents had “a lot” or “some” say in the decisions affecting them.
6. Medical care was one of respondents’ top four concerns, with 15% choosing this domain. Satisfaction with medical care in HK is fairly high. Among those selecting this domain, 56% were satisfied with how fast and easy it is to see a doctor; 64% were satisfied with the availability of affordable care; and 74% were satisfied with the quality of care they received. As the population ages, medical care will rise as a priority for HK residents, and the government will need to maintain current levels of satisfaction.
Maura Wong, CEO of Civic Exchange, said, “Surveys such as these which combine subjective perception as a complement to objective data are the backbone of CEx’s objectives. Civic Exchange has undertaken significant work recently in the area of Urban Environment and the Hong Kong Wellbeing Survey is an extension of these explorations. Gauging public sentiment about quality of life is key to improving civic wellbeing as it pinpoints the issues that most concern the general population.” Wong hopes that by making the full report and its underlying databases available to everyone, other organisations including government bodies, academics and fellow NGOs can rally to make a real impact on societal wellbeing.
For a copy of the Hong Kong report, and explanations of methodology and sample sizes, please click here: http://bit.ly/CExWB-HK2016.
For a copy of the comparative three-city report, and explanations of methodology and sample sizes, please click here: http://bit.ly/CEx-WB2016.
Specific-city survey results for Singapore and Shanghai will be released later this year.
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